Will monster maven Desmond Pucket get to ride the awesome, animatronic-enhanced Mountain Full of Monsters roller coaster with dreamy Tina Schimsky?
No. Mr. Needles, head of Cloverfield Memorial Junior High’s disciplinary office, has it in for Desmond, even on the field trip to Crab Shell Pier amusement park. Desmond and his best friend, Ricky, ditch Needles, but the guy comes back like a bad rash. Desmond ends up having to go on his dream ride with Mr. Needles—repeatedly. Then Desmond learns that the ride is scheduled for demolition at the end of the summer. He vows to raise money to save the animatronic monsters, but what can one kid do? What he does best: scare kids…for which their siblings will gladly pay cash. Will Desmond be able to raise enough to get the park’s manager to let him save the monsters from destruction? In a mixture of comic panels, doodlelike spot illustrations and text, Tatulli continues his chronicle of sixth-grade special-effects expert Desmond in a funny and cheerfully gross tale of perseverance and friendship that is realistic and wacky all at once. Other secrets come to light over the course of the story, and fans will rejoice that more adventures are on the way.
The icing on the exploding birthday cake are the many pages from Desmond’s notebook with instructions on duplicating his scary successes. (Humor. 8-11)